Work

Back to Grid

Scaling solar energy service to millions

Client:
Location: Tanzania
Catapult Service Line: Design
Thematic Area: Energy, Mobile Tech

Challenge

Off Grid Electric (OGE) offers scalable “solar energy as a service” to customers living with kerosene lamps. By building their own distribution networks, they are able to reach last-mile customers with their solar-powered appliances coupled to intelligent software and a mobile money payment structure.

OGE is scaling throughout Tanzania, where 86% of the population does not have access to electricity in their homes. Given the disbursement of OGE´s target clients, collecting customer data is a challenge. OGE´s network of solar agents are armed with mobile phones containing OGE´s M-POWER app, but they lack basic sales and customer tracking tools in order to educate and acquire new customers and provide them with ongoing service.

As OGE prepares for growth beyond Tanzania, and thereby rapid expansion of their solar agent network, they asked Catapult to de-construct their agent and customer experience in order to understand how their M-POWER mobile app can grow along with their agents and customers.

Work

Our team worked with OGE’s sales agents and customers in Tanzania to understand their pain points and identify opportunities to adjust M-POWER and the surrounding service model. Our work included:

  • conducting user research by shadowing agents in order to map out the distinct steps of the journey that agents and customers take from meeting for the first time through system installation and
  • creating “opportunity” cards for each pain point that we witnessed that impact OGE’s goals to scale, such that the OGE team can ideate solutions to those challenges
  • developing a series of wireframes for a new mobile app that more closely mimicked the ideal agent-customer journey
  • creating prototype testing training materials for OGE’s staff
  • working with OGE’s agents, programming, and operations teams to finalize a new visual design for the agent mobile app.

Results

OGE now has anecdotal stories and direct feedback from agents and customers on the possibilities for adjusting their service model as they scale. Additionally, we created:

  • a blueprint and design specs for a mobile application that can grow with them as they make changes to their service model in the coming years
  • a mobile app that helps enforce good practices for new agents
  • a mobile app with features inspired by popular social media apps in Tanzania, which we anticipate will decrease the learning curve